This article will explain four important things that you must consider before investing in a portable air conditioner.
1. How are single hose and double hose designs different?
Every portable AC has to have a minimum of one exhaust hose in order to get rid of the hot air that the compressor generates. The main difference between single and dual hose designs is the air intake.
A single hose option takes in air from the room and circulates this much like a window-mounted option does. A dual hose takes in air from outdoors through one hose and uses the other to exhaust heat from the compressor.
2. What is the EER?
The energy efficiency ratio or EER is a numeric guide that allows consumers to compare the efficiency of different AC options. Most units have an EER between 8.5 and 11 and higher numbers are better than lower numbers. If you cannot find the EER information, you can calculate this by dividing the wattage of the unit into the BTU rating.
3. Are multi-hose designs more efficient?
There isn’t really any evidence that I have found that can be considered quantifiable (and I searched around quite a bit) that designs with two hoses trump single hose options in efficiency. Actually, I was unable to find even one instance in which a dual hose option had a lower EER when both units had an equal BTU.
But, I can say this: In many instances portable ACs with higher BTUs are usually more efficient than designs that have lower BTUs given that incrementally, they do not require as much power to operate a large compressor.
For example, the Whynter Dual Hose 12000 BTU ARC-12SD uses only 18% more power than the 8000 BTU KY-80 by Mobile Comfort and yet it provides 50% more cooling.
Click here, for our reviews of these units.
4. Is it good to get portable designs with heat functionality?
Portables that provide heat are very convenient and high in value. The heating capacity for these units, however, can vary quite a bit from one model to the next depending upon the type of heater that is used. Certain designs have electric heaters that are separate and some have compressors that provide reverse heat much like the heat pumps in central AC systems.
Options with heat pumps are able to heat the same area that they are capable of cooling. Those that use electric heaters, however, can only heat approximately 30% of the space that they are able to cool.